crafting the story

Discover the Magic Within You

Title:  Discover the Magic within you to believe in yourself.

In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon people I loved and feared to create some of my favorite characters.

Here’s an excerpt:

“You will learn that the way you think holds the key to all things magic.  Have the courage to imagine only great things.  By pushing your minds far beyond what you already understand, you will discover what is yet to be.”

Mondragon took his place next to her.  “Good afternoon, Bea,” he whispered hoarsely into her ear as if they were lovers.

The wide grin on his face told her he’d been up to something.  Probably something that, when she found out later what that was, she wouldn’t like it.

She ignored him for the moment.  She was too deep in her speech to bother with him now.  At least this time he showed up.

“The Bonaventure-Mondragon is awarded to the student or team of students who push their minds far beyond our known supernatural reality and create a thought or a way of thinking about our world that we’ve never before considered.”

“Like a frog with wings?” Morlock teased with a twinkle in his dark brown eyes.

“Not if you’re casting about for something else,” she smiled at the students.

Mondragon knew better than to interrupt her during her orientation speech.  What was going on with him?

“What if that is exactly what you want?” he persisted.

She shrugged and studied him.  Whatever Mondragon was up to, he’d better have a good explanation for why he was acting like this.  “Well, then, a winged frog would definitely be a success.”

Beatrice pointedly returned her attention to the students.  “Your grades will be decided by the number of successful spells you cast, not by the size or the perfection of your results.  And remember this: The Bonaventure-Mondragon Award isn’t just a competition.  It’s also about cooperation, how fairly you play the game, and what you learn about yourself along the way.  While you attend school here, you will do no harm to yourselves or to others as you study and learn.  And if you’re really lucky, you’ll make friends — real friends you’ll keep forever.  Boys and girls, attending the Bonaventure Academy of Magic is as much about your character as it is about the magic.  Keep that thought in mind should you be tempted to cheat, or steal, or sabotage someone else’s spells.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more: Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Kindle Edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, Kindle Edition.

Footprint Love Spell

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Just in time for Saint Valentine’s Day!

An excerpt from:

A MYSTERY’S COLLECTION OF LOVE SPELLS, MYSTICAL CHARMS, & NOT TOO UNPLEASANT POTIONS

From the diary of Shellaire Lombard

A Footprint Binding Love Spell

  1. Find a good footprint left behind by your heart’s desire.
  2. Place your foot beside it, making a matching footprint. Meaning: If you have his left footprint, you make a footprint using your right foot.
  3. Using a small garden shovel, carefully dig up both footprints, and place the dirt in a flowerpot.
  4. Plant marigold seeds. Follow the directions on how to care for the seeds, and watch your love flourish.

 

Coming soon!

A MYSTERY’S COLLECTION OF LOVE SPELLS, MYSTICAL CHARMS, & NOT TOO UNPLEASANT POTIONS

From the diary of Shellaire Lombard

BY

DEBORAH MCTIERNAN

From the Magical World of LILLY NOBLE

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more: Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Kindle Edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, Kindle Edition.

How to Graciously Accept a Strange & Frightening Gift

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In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon all my favorite story characters I loved as a kid, and lots of strange encounters with others to create my own.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m sorry we’re late, Captain,” Lilly said as he took her hand and helped her up to the coach’s doorway.

“No worries.  You’re looking fit, Miss Noble,” Hopewell observed, and then he seemed to relax a little.  “Good to see you again.”

“Thanks.”  Lilly smiled up at the ferryboat captain.  “Good to see you, too.”

“Thank you, Miss,” he beamed.

He looked quickly over his shoulder, returned his attention to Lilly, and then slipped a small leather pouch into her hand.  “When I found out you’d lost all of your stuff in the ferry accident, I got you this,” he whispered.  “It’s my way of saying I’m sorry.”

“Captain, you didn’t have to get me anything,” Lilly whispered back.  The chestnut size lump inside the pouch squirmed and squeaked a little.  “Um, what is it?”

“It’s a Kritter pod.  The directions on how to take care of it before and after hatching are inside the pouch.  Don’t let anyone see it, though.  Minor High School students aren’t allowed to have pets until next year.  I think you’ll really like it though, once it calms down.  Oh, and don’t keep it too warm or let it get wet, it’ll hatch out a lot sooner.”

Calms down?  “Wow, Captain!  This was very thoughtful.”  She stared at the pouch rolling around in her hand, afraid to move.  “Thank you.”

“That pod should be safe in your pocket,” Captain Hopewell said, pointing to her sweater.  “Now, in you go.”  He opened the door with one hand, and used the other one to keep her from bumping her head on the carriage as she stepped inside.

The shades over the windows had been pulled down, making the coach dark inside.  Lilly sunk into the comfortable velvet upholstered bench and shoved the leather pouch in her sweater pocket.

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more: Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Kindle Edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, Kindle Edition.

Know What to do When You Are Summoned to the Principal’s Office

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In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon all my favorite story characters I loved as a kid, and all the fun times I spent in Mother Superior’s office to create my own.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Miss Lilly Noble, please report to Headmistress Bonaventure’s office immediately.  Thank you, students.  That will be all.”

A click snapped through the school’s hallowed halls as the public announcement system shut off.

Zymura’s shock registered on her face with wide eyes.   “What do you think that’s about?”

Students passing in the hallway pointed at Lilly and whispered behind their hands.

Lilly shrugged.  “I have no idea.”  And if she didn’t know what the announcement was about, then she was pretty sure the kids hissing their annoying opinions about her loud enough for her to hear them, didn’t have a clue either.  Of course, even that bit of reasoning didn’t stop her worried heart from thumping wildly in her chest.  “Save me a seat in the dining hall.  I’ll join you and Shellaire as soon as I can.”

When Lilly got to the school secretary’s desk, Mrs. Agon immediately ushered her into Miss Bonaventure’s empty office.

“Have a seat, please.  Headmistress will be with you momentarily.”  The tuft of frizzy white hair atop Mrs. Agon’s head waved in the breeze as the she ran out the door.  Lilly wondered how the woman got her hair to stand up like that.

The door clicked shut behind the secretary, leaving Lilly alone in Miss Bonaventure’s office.

This office belonged to no ordinary headmistress of just any school.  This office belonged to a mystery who was the headmistress of a magical school.

Notes scribbled into the calendar on the large oak desk were in hieroglyphs.  A pointed witch’s hat covered with glowing orange stars hung from the branch of a coat tree, a real birch growing out of a hole in the floor.  A cast iron cauldron bubbled and hissed over a deep green candle flame.  Hovering above the desk, a dark blue crystal ball twinkled as it gently rotated on its axis.  The broom propped in the corner fell suddenly, hitting the pumpkin next to it with a hollow thwack, before clattering to the floor.

The door banged open.

Miss Bonaventure rushed inside, flushed and out of breath.  She wore a tight, navy blue, pinstriped skirt and jacket.  The bun on top of her head was coming apart and sat slightly askew.  With a quick glance in the corner and a flick of her index finger, the broom righted itself.  “That’s been falling down a lot lately.  I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Miss Noble.  I was on the other side of the campus when I heard Mrs. Agon announce your name overhead.  I apologize for that, too.  That was my fault.  When I gave my secretary her list of tasks for the day, I may have failed to mention I wanted you notified by note, and to have you meet me here after your day’s classes.”

She gave her bun a shove.  It wobbled slightly and settled into place.

“And, just between you and me, that woman does love the loudspeaker,” she added with a grin.

Lilly nodded, and with a tiny grin of her own, she indicated she understood perfectly.  Though, she didn’t — not really.

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more: Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Kindle Edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, Kindle Edition.

Escape From a Boy Who Is Following You

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In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon all my favorite story characters I loved as a kid, and people I’ve known and loved, to create my own.

Here’s an excerpt:

Lilly clamped her lips together and cast a wide, sweeping glance, taking in all she could see, which wasn’t much because of the shrouding fog.

Murosky Skaggs stepped out of the gloom and headed in their direction.  “Good morning, girls.  Did you sleep well?”  His light banter did little to disguise the troubled look on his face, or the fear in his eyes.

“Oh!  Hi!”  Unnerved by the boy’s sudden appearance, Lilly grabbed Zymura’s sleeve and gave it a yank.  “How come every time I turn around, he’s right there?” she whispered.

Zymura’s shrug was casual, but her expression suspicious.  “Good question,” she whispered back.

“Did I interrupt something?” he smirked.

“I’m sorry, Murosky.  We’ll be late for class if we stay and chat,” Lilly said as she nervously hurried away from him on suddenly trembling legs.

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more: Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Kindle Edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, Kindle Edition.

Casting a Spell

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In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon all my favorite story characters I loved as a kid to create my own.  Madam Saboulia, however, represents the very best of my favorite teachers.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madam Saboulia tapped a tiny gong on her podium.  It reverberated at a pitch loud enough to rattle the cauldrons nestled in the cupboards, crack a window, and leave Lilly’s ears ringing.

Every head swiveled to the front of the classroom.

Madam Saboulia cleared her throat.  “During this term the incantations you’ll write in this class will be more like poems and songs than stodgy old spells.  But don’t be fooled by simple verse.  Words are powerful magic.  I’m here to teach you how to choose them wisely.”  With a flick of her wrist, a top hat appeared on her podium.  Gazing thoughtfully at her students, she continued.  “With a well chosen phrase, you can put someone down, bring them to their knees, or drop them at death’s doorstep.  Ultimately, you decide to create something good in the world or destroy someone forever.  That choice is always yours.”

Puzzled, Lilly raised her hand to ask a question.

“Miss Noble, isn’t it?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”  How did Madam Saboulia know her?  Lilly didn’t have a name badge on.  No one did.  And, the teacher hadn’t taken a roll call.

“You remind me of your grandmother when she was your age.  You remind me of your mother, too, but mostly your grandmother,” Madam Saboulia said, as if responding to Lilly’s unanswered question.

Hushed whispers rose from several places in the classroom.

My grandmother?  Madam Saboulia didn’t look old enough to know her grandmother or her mother.  In fact, with her fresh green, wrinkle-free complexion, she looked only a couple years older than Lilly did.

“You had a question, dear?”

“Uh, yes, sorry.  If words can do that kind of damage, how come we’re still here?”

“Ah, your grandmother asked me the very same thing.  Can anyone answer Miss Noble’s question?”  Madam Saboulia waved her hand over the top hat.  After a moment, she yanked out a snake with one hand and a rabbit with the other.

Rapt silence followed.

“Your words craft the spells you cast out into society.  But it’s the intentions beneath your words that set the magic in motion.  If your intentions are good, what you create with your magic will bring love and joy into the world,” she said, holding up the rabbit.  “And if your intentions are evil,” she added, displaying the snake, “well, you get the picture.”

Zymura’s hand shot up.  “Are intentions feelings?”

“Intentions are the way you really think about things.  You have the power to create or destroy.  It’s all in how you think about things.”

Confusion forced Lilly to frown.

Madam Saboulia’s strange slitted eyes roamed from one student to the next and held the class spellbound.  “Let me explain.  You can recite spells full of sweet happy words, but if the thoughts you have about the people and the things around you are dark and foul, your spell work will bring nothing but ruin.  On the other hand, if you believe people are basically good and you want happiness for them, that attitude will reflect itself in the results of your craft.  Your magic will bring abundance and joy.  So, pay attention and beware.  Your real thoughts are always revealed in the results of your incantations.  And remember, what you put out to others will always return to you.”

The room grew so quiet; a pin hitting the floor would have made quite a racket.

Deep in thought about the idea of intentions, Lilly realized how this made perfect sense.

Madam Saboulia took a deep breath and continued.  “The mortals around us pay little attention to what they truly believe about their world and the people in it.  They curse one another and themselves all the time without realizing it.  They criticize, judge, deceive, blame, lie, punish one other, and spread dark untruths as if the intentions behind their words were justified and what they said didn’t matter.”  She dropped the snake into the top hat, shoved the reluctant rabbit in after it, and with another flick of her slender green wrist, the hat vanished.  “Mortals learn this dark trick as children from the examples taught by the adults around them.  As they grow older, talking in this ruinous fashion becomes an automatic habit.  By the time they reach adulthood, they believe this is the normal way for them to think and be.  And the most fascinating thing is they refuse to see the damage they’re doing to themselves and each other, even long after it’s occurred.”

Lilly raised her hand.  How was she supposed to know how to think about the world if she didn’t remember it?

“Yes, Lilly?”

“Is there any way we can protect ourselves against the harmful intentions of others?”

Madam Saboulia nodded as she stepped out from behind the podium.  She was hovering two feet above the floor.  “You protect yourself by believing goods things about yourself and others.  Know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and that you are good enough no matter what someone says, or how badly they treat you.  The words of others have the power to enter your mind and change what you think about yourself and your world if you let them.  Never allow anyone to use their words against you to make you doubt yourself.  Always believe good things about yourself and that door of doubt will remain forever closed.”  With that said, Madam Saboulia pointed up to the ceiling.

And then, as if on cue, the bell rang.

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more:  Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, kindle edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, kindle edition.

How to not to behave when stopped by the police

 

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Morgann Janeway-Banks-Skaggs-Noble refused to look at the motorcycle cop handing her driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance in through the Jaguar’s window.  She had a strange hunch if she caught his gaze he would know she was hiding something.

She was hiding something.  Her newest husband, Randolph Noble, was locked in a box under her bed at home.

The officer liked her husband.  He didn’t like her.  And he was making his feelings toward her very clear in a not so subtle way.

With one hand, she snatched her documents from his gloved paw.  With the other, she quietly snapped shut the lid on the metal breath mint box in her hand, and slipped it into her jacket pocket.

“Mrs. Noble, do you know you have a broken taillight?”  The officer’s tone came across as impersonal and professional.

Of course, she knew.  She’d done it backing the car out of the garage earlier that morning.  “Sorry, Bill.  I had no idea.  Randolph must have done it and forgotten to say something,” she lied smoothly.  “He has so much on his mind these days.  Which side is broken?”

“Passenger.”

“Hm, really.”  In the side view mirror, she watched with growing irritation as the police officer took his sweet time putting the finishing touches on the traffic ticket.  Impatiently, she drummed her red lacquered fingernails against the Jaguar’s steering wheel and waited.

The cop cleared his throat and glanced at her fingers.

She stopped drumming.

With a flourish, he ripped the top sheet from his pad.  “Here you go, Mrs. Noble,” he said, handing her the ticket.  “I’m letting you off with a warning today, but you need to get that taillight fixed as soon as possible.”

She raked her fingers through her hair slowly and then sighed.  “I’ve got so much going on right now.  I’m not sure when I’ll find time to take care of this.”  She fluttered her eyelashes and tossed a sultry spell in his direction.

The man rocked back on his heels.  “Let me take a look at the damage for you.”  Officer Bill’s curt manner instantly downshifted to friendly and accommodating.  “I’ll call Jake down at the auto body shop and let him know what parts he’ll need to order to fix that taillight.  You drive a fancy European model, so it’s going to take a couple of weeks for all the right pieces to come in, but I’m happy to help out.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

How to end a rude conversation with grace

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A muscular boy with short blonde spikes entered the library.  He spotted Lilly and strode purposefully in her direction.  He raised his hand and pointed a short stubby finger at her.  “Hey, aren’t you that dimwit who fell off the ferryboat?”

Lilly turned and looked him right in the eye.  His voice sounded familiar.  It belonged to one of the boys who’d helped Murosky get her to the infirmary the day she’d arrived on the island.  “Why, yes, I am.  I never got the chance to properly thank you for getting me off the beach before the high tide washed me back out to sea.  Thank you!” she said politely.

The boy stared back at her dumbfounded.  “That high tide was weird.  And, for the record, I didn’t carry you off the beach, Ren did.  But you’re welcome, I guess.”

“It couldn’t have been a high tide.  The moon wasn’t full,” Murosky argued.  “I told you that.”

With an even gaze at Lilly, the blonde-headed boy’s expression downshifted to mean.  “Nice to see you admit to being a dimwit,” he said scowling at her.  “Only a true dimwit would admit to doing such a stupid thing.”

Murosky’s face went purple.  “Aptos, I’m warning you.”

“Warning me about what?” Aptos countered, standing his ground.

“Keep it up and you’ll find out what,” Murosky threatened.

“Lilly!”  Zymura’s shout cut into their conversation.  Her voice came from the yearbook section.  “They’re not here!”  She sounded frantic.

“It’s a pity I’ve got to leave you boys now, but it was lovely chatting with you both.  Hopefully I’ll get to meet Ren sometime soon,” Lilly said before turning in the direction of Zymura’s voice.

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

image from girl.com

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

Please Join Me For A Taste of Wormwood Tea

In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults,   I drew upon all my favorite story books I loved as a kid to create my own.  As you may already have guessed, wormwood tea doesn’t really exist.  I borrowed the wormwood reference from another children’s author whose work was popular in the last century.  What author am I referring to?  The correct guess will win you a Kindle!  Send your answer to the contact email address on my website.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Of course, I am.  Emily, you just need to calm down.  Tell you what, you and Cupid have a seat on the porch and I’ll fix you a cup of my special tea.”

Her neighbor grimaced.  “No thanks, I’ll pass.”

“Why?”

“The last time I drank your special tea I landed in the emergency room and had to have my stomach pumped.”

Morgann covered her urge to giggle with a sympathetic groan.  “How was I supposed to know you were allergic to wormwood?”

“Whoever heard of wormwood tea?”

“Me.”

“Well, nobody else has, and believe me, I checked.  I even Googled it.”  Emily flipped open her cell phone.  “I’m calling the police.”

Morgann quickly reached out to snatch the phone.

Emily easily sidestepped her hand and batted it away.

“Emily, be reasonable.  What would it take to convince you my house is empty?”

“Let me and Cupid inside so I can take a look around for myself.”

“The dog stays out,” Morgann countered.

“There’s no deal unless Cupid goes inside to watch my back and help me investigate.”

Morgann acknowledged the ‘watch my back’ remark with a sweet smile.  “No dog.”

“No dog, no deal.”  Emily pressed the nine button on her key pad.

“Calm down!  There’s no need to involve the police.”

“If Randolph’s calling for help from somewhere inside that house, that means he’s in trouble.  Why don’t you want me to get him some help?  You’d want me to call for help if it was you.”

“Emily, Randolph called me from Japan just this morning.  He’s in perfect health.  He has a lot of meetings over the next few days, but he’s just fine.”

“Well, then, someone inside that house is calling for help, and they don’t sound fine to me.  In fact, the voice sounded quite weak.  If you’ve been making Randolph, or someone who sounds just like him, drink that wormwood tea of yours, there’s no telling what kind of shape they’re in.”

“Randolph loves my tea,” Morgann said, a little too defensively.

Emily hardened her gaze and stared at Morgann.  “He’s dead, isn’t he?”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan
Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic
Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

photo credit: Silvia Sala via photopin cc

Please Feed The Man Living In The Box Under Your Bed

Please feed the man living in the box under your bed.

In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon all my favorite story books I loved as a kid to create my own.  Does anyone out there in Cyberland know where the idea to store Lilly’s dad in a box under her evil stepmother’s bed came from?  The right guess will win you a Kindle!  Send your answer to the contact email address on my website.

Here’s an excerpt:

Morgann placed the steaming bowl of oatmeal on the night table.  “It’s too dark in here.”

She aimed her index finger at the big bay windows.  The drapes whipped open and the sunlight streamed in.

With a careless flick of her wrist, the long, wooden box under her bed rolled out as easily as a dresser drawer.

Good thing she’d remembered to install casters on the bottom of the box before putting it to use.

“Wakey, wakey my sleeping prince,” she said cheerfully as she rapped her knuckles lightly on the lid.

She grabbed the knob on the top of the box and raised the hinged lid.  “Ready for some breakfast?”

Morgann looked down to find her new husband’s eyes wide open and glaring at her.

Uncomfortable under the scrutiny of his intense stare, she slammed the lid shut and quickly shoved the box back under the bed.

“I’ll feed you later when you’re in a better mood.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan
Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic
Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!